Tears and tension erupted once more when a Horsham lass became the sixth person to be booted off the Great British Bake Off TV programme last night.
Twenty-one-year-old Julia Chernogorova, who is originally from Kemerovo in Siberia, said: “I knew that I wouldn’t win or get to the final, but I enjoyed every week.”
And Julia admitted that her husband Matt Laughton, from Rusper - who she met in Turkey when she was 17 - had been her ‘rock’ thoughout the Channel 4 television show.
Proud hubby Matt, who works as an electrical engineer at Gatwick, took to social media to tell of his pride in his wife when the new Bake Off series first started.
Said Julia: “My husband Matt has been my rock, he is the one who has always believed in me. I have never had that care and love from someone before, and I would have gone crazy without him. He is always there for me, but as I am a natural worrier, it’s so good that he totally calms me down.”
And Julia spoke of her affection for other contestants and show hosts Sandi Toksvig and Noel Fielding. “I really liked Noel and Sandi, I felt we had something special there. They always made me laugh and we were always on the same wavelength.
“We just got each other, and I think I made them laugh too, it was so comfortable I felt like I had known them both for a long time. There were times when I shed a few tears on Noel’s chest, and Sandi was like my mum and I really loved her, she was so incredibly supportive.
“I wanted to impress both Paul (Hollywood) and Prue (Leith) the same, their opinions were very important to me, and I respected them both equally. I would take both of their comments into account.
“My worst moment in the tent? - Well I had two. The first technical challenge in the first week my bake looked so bad but the judges said it tasted good, and although I didn’t want to leave in the sixth week I knew I had tried my best.
“My best bit was bread week because I got Star Baker, and that was so cool. There were great moments when Paul and Prue said you should be proud of yourself, and I will remember those forever!”
Julia revealed that she had kept Skyping her family back in Russia during the series to let them know how she was doing. “They don’t speak English and they are not able to watch it yet, hopefully I will be able to take some DVDs of the show so they can see it.
“My husband Matt’s family have of course been able to watch it, and his Nan cries each week - and was in pieces the night I left.”
Julia was one of the younger bakers in the tent, “but I do feel grown up for my age, and sometimes people think I am more mature than 21, so I often get mistaken for someone in their 30s,” said Julia.
“Liam was the other youngest, and he brought out the child in me. I called him my brother, and we fooled around like proper brother and sister. We had a real laugh together in the tent, which broke the tension of getting the bakes right.
“At the end of the episode Sandi was very upset, when she announced I was leaving and she gave me a big hug and we both shared a few tears, and then Noel rallied me round.
“I didn’t want to go of course, but everyone has to leave sometime and I knew this was my week to go.
“Before the Bake Off, I hadn’t ever planned my life in detail, it’s just not my way. So now I am waiting and hoping to see what will come my way, I guess. I do have a few ideas, but I don’t want to put my cards on the table just yet.”
After announcing that Julia was to leave, Sandi hugged her and said: “I am so sorry, sweetheart, you did amazing you know that right? … you did incredible.”
And Paul added: “Well done, Jules, you did well.”
Julia herself added: “Of course I will carry on baking, it’s my passion, I am very lucky to find my passion in something I enjoy doing and absolutely love. I am only 21 and there is only one place to go now, and that is up.”